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Rules would pave the way for religious groups to receive taxpayer dollars even if they provide less care and discriminate in providing services

Washington, DC — Today, as part of a series of similar rules released across several federal agencies, the Trump-Pence administration’s Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) proposed religious refusal rules that would strip away critical protections from people who rely on federally funded health and social services programs both domestically and abroad. The rules also make it substantially easier for faith-based organizations to receive tax-payer funding while simultaneously promoting their religion. They would eliminate protections that require faith-based organizations to notify people that they are serving about their rights, and to refer them to other service providers if desired.

This is the latest in a long line of dangerous policies that could impact peoples' ability to access HIV and STI prevention programs, reproductive health services and other vital health care; youth homelessness services; and foster care and adoption services. They represent a concerted effort by the Trump-Pence administration across the federal government to attack access to sexual and reproductive health care and other services by taking funds from qualified providers and give them to religious entities that may not provide comprehensive services. 

Statement from Jacqueline Ayers, Vice President of Government Relations & Public Policy, Planned Parenthood Federation of America:

“Our taxpayer dollars should go to organizations that provide culturally competent, expert care and services without discrimination — not to organizations that deny services to vulnerable communities. This proposed rule is dangerous, and it could do serious harm to those who already face barriers to care, including LGBTQ people, women, and religious minorities. We condemn any attempt to bolster ineffective organizations that provide less care to fewer people or unethical ones that impose their belief systems onto others under the guise of providing services both in the U.S. and abroad. Planned Parenthood is proud to provide high-quality, judgment-free care to our patients — we always have, and we always will.”

Discrimination in health care already prevents too many LGBTQ people from accessing care. According to the 2015 U.S. Transgender Survey, 33 percent of respondents who sought health care in the last year experienced mistreatment, including violence, because they were transgender — and nearly one-quarter avoided seeking health care services when they needed them out of fear of discrimination. Nearly one-third of transgender people surveyed said a doctor or health care provider refused to treat them due to their gender identity.

When women are denied access to the full range of reproductive services, rates of unintended pregnancymaternal mortalitymental health conditions, and sexually transmitted infections increase. Access to contraception also impacts women’s educational attainment, participation in the workforce, and economic growth.

Planned Parenthood is the nation’s leading provider and advocate of high-quality, affordable health care for women, men, and young people, as well as the nation’s largest provider of sex education. With more than 600 health centers across the country, Planned Parenthood organizations serve all patients with care and compassion, with respect and without judgment. Through health centers, programs in schools and communities, and online resources, Planned Parenthood is a trusted source of reliable health information that allows people to make informed health decisions. We do all this because we care passionately about helping people lead healthier lives.


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